Meet Carlton Senior Living’s spotlight resident, Jim Costa – Jim was born in 1950 and lived in the Washington Manor neighborhood of San Leandro along with his parents and two half-sisters. His father had the potential to become a pro-golfer but reasoned that there was no money in it and so he went to work for the government instead displaying his large collection of golf trophies as his consolation. Jim’s mother was a homemaker and Jim has fond memories of taking day trips with his family to sunny places like Santa Cruz and also Disneyland a time or two.
When Jim graduated from Marina High School the Vietnam War was raging and so he was obligated to register for the draft. Having received a draft number of sixty-six, he took his future into his own hands and enlisted in the Navy in hopes of seeing the world. Instead, he found himself stationed at the Naval Air Station in Kingsville, Texas working as a jet mechanic. Lucky for him, one of the perks of the job was flying in the two-seater TA-4J training jets and also flying in the cargo plans of the Blue Angels.
His end of service with the Navy in 1973 marked the beginning of Jim’s “hippie years” which he fully embraced by growing out his hair while striving to attain enlightenment. In 1974, he moved to San Luis Obispo where he worked as a bus boy at Denny’s and then elsewhere making air planes. He also married the following year but it was young love and didn’t stick. During this time, Jim used the GI Bill to enroll in strictly recreational classes at Cuesta College. An interview with PG&E in September 1977 resulted in a haircut and job as a laborer which would turn into a long career with the company as a Construction Supervisor.
Jim later married Susan and they welcome a daughter and a son into their family which they raised in Hayward. The young family enjoyed weekend trips to Lake Don Pedro and Del Valle where they water skied and once even rented a house boat. Jim and Susan ultimately separated after 14 years but are very proud of the two good kids they raised. Jim’s next reinvention of himself came when he bought a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and he assumed a biker persona along with his girlfriend, Sandy. The two had many adventures in their 13-years together and are close friends to this day.
Eventually, Jim moved to Carlton Senior Living Pleasant Hill along with his K9 companion, a retired service dog named Lucy. Jim says he enjoys being a part of the Carlton Pleasant Hill community because the residents and staff are friendly, the food is good, and he doesn’t have to do any dishes. He can often be seen walking with Lucy or joining in for trivia and a variety of other activities. Jim also boasts an extensive collection of music and sports memorabilia.
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Written by Denee Naro